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he gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. topping the agenda this hour, breaking news out of michigan. the fight coming to a head over that state's right to work law as thousands of protesters swarched the state capital. union supporters are rallying around the capital building itself in lansing as gop lawmakers from both state houses vote on a bill that would significantly weaken union rights in a state considered one of the cradles of the labor movement. the law prohibits workers from being required to pay union dues as a condition of employment. republican governor schneider saying that he'll sign that bill right away making michigan the
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24th state with the right to work. yesterday president obama joined the chorus of voices condemning this move. >> by the way, what we shouldn't do, i just got to say this, what we shouldn't be doing is taking away your right to bargain for better wages. giving you the right to work for less money. >> nbc is live from lansing, michigan, and from detroit i'm joined by michigan democratic congressman gary peters. ron, i'm going to start with you. describe the scene for us there and what's at stake. >> reporter: good day to you. it just started snowing within the past few minutes. these folks are braving very cold temperatures here but they're very fired up about this legislation being pushed through the state house today. as you have reported it will turn michigan into a right to work state. republican governor rick schneider and other supporters of this legislation says it actually makes michigan more attractive for businesses around the country who may be considering relocating their
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businesses to michigan. workers are the ones you see behind me, several thousand hearsay this is nothing but an attempt to try to break the back of unions in a state where ally unions are synonymous with michigan. we've spoken to a number of workers this morning who say this was a backhanded way for the governor and republican toss get something away from democrats and working class people of this state by trying to say that this is going to make a situation better in the workforce for a lot of workers when, in fact, they believe that this is going to drive wages down. i spoke to one gentleman, a plumber, who says that if you look at what he earns here in michigan versus what some of his colleagues in the southern states let's say that are right to work states, big difference and they want to just simply support their families here so they're very fired up about this legislation. it's unavoidable to talk about this debate without saying what took place over in wisconsin. obviously massive protests there. a little smaller in terms of numbers here today. but the protesting in wisconsin led to a recall effort of the
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governor scott walker there. the folks here in michigan are not real sure these union workers, not sure what the next step will be if governor schneider signs this legislation has expected, thomas. >> i'm going to ask you to stand by and bring in the congressman, you and fellow democratic congressional members held this last pitch meeting with the governor yesterday to try to stop this vote. that vote is going ahead. what was that meeting like yesterday and your thoughts about what's hopping now? >> well, we are certainly very disappointed with the meeting yesterday with the governor. we did go in to speak with him in a united front. first asking him to hopefully veto this legislation, if not, at least give it more time. it should not be rushed through in a lame-duck session which the governor is doing. and it was particularly surprising given the fact that governor schneider for months, in fact, for years has said this is not part of his agenda. he thinks this is too divisive of an issue particularly as michigan is coming out of a very difficult economic time with the auto industry that it should be
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about bringing people together, not dividing people. to have the governor do a 180-degree turn and then immediately jam this through a lame-duck session, it's unlikely he would be able to pass this when the new legislature comes in in january because of some additional democratic members of the legislature. and what was particularly troubling to us and we pushed the governor is that they are attempting to make this a referendum proof bill by putting an appropriation, a million dollar appropriation, which doesn't really belong in it, but it will be very -- it will be impossible for us to have a referendum. the people of the state of michigan should be able to have a say in this and they're being denied this. >> spending bills cannot be overturned. i did receive an e-mail from state county and municipal employees talking about this fight would be far from over if that goes through. in this they say a source from labor is saying if this bill is signed today it's going to be the thunder dome for the governor and michigan for the next two years. they want to get this done now
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in the lame duck before more liberal vices come in next year. do you think that does set this up and, as you point out, the fact that this does have an appropriations, a spending bill a attached in there. so referendum is off the table. >> the referendum's off the table. certainly we can do a constitutional amendamendment. that doesn't stop the bill from going forward. a referendum would allow the bill stop from going forward until the people have an opportunity to have their say. but this is going to be an even more contentious issue. it's a point i made with the governor yesterday is that if we need to have this debate, let's do it in a thoughtful way of putting it on the ballot. he had an opportunity to put it in the legislation, to put it on the ballot or allow a referendum. instead by jamming this through, in such a way and blocking any kind of citizen involvement, the emotions are so high, the anger is so high, this is a contentious issue that we should not be having in michigan at a time when we're trying to get the economy back on its feet and moving forward. we should be about bringing
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people together, not dividing people. this is just a wrong headed approach. it is shocking, quite shocking that we're doing this and certainly the governor is going to find that there are a lot of folks angry or are going to be very engaged in this debate over the next couple of years. it's not going to go away. >> congressman, did you believe the governor when he said why he feels so strongly about making michigan a right to work state, basically kneecapping organized labor and collective bargaining rights. >> well, actually it was quite stunning in some of the comments that he made, why he made this 180-degree turn out of nowhere. he said, well, i think no one should be forced to join the union, which is absolutely a false statement. under law, you cannot be forced to join a union. you don't have to pay union dues if you are in a union shop. what you do have to do is if you are getting benefits from organizing, higher wages and benefits, you need to pay a fair share of the actual bargaining costs because you're benefiting from that. in fact, right now ender law if
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you are not paying money into a union, if you get fired, the union still needs to defend you and if they don't you can sue them. this is about fairness. if a worker is getting the benefits of having an organization in that workplace, they should pay their fair share of those costs because of the benefits that they are getting. that's what this is. it's about fairness. and not to do this, this would be like saying to people, well, you can have all the benfys of social security but you have the option of not paying into it if you like but you still get the benefits. of course people are going to say, why pay in, i'm not going to pay. and if everybody decides not to pay, then social security falls apart. that's really what's at stake here with unions. it's an attempt to destroy unions, destroy the ability for unions to effectively bargain collectively for employees. and the one thing we know about right to work states is that average wage levels are lower. this is about lower incomes for middle class americans. this is an assault on middle class families. >> gentlemen, thanks so much. i'm going to let you get back to work.
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thank you so much. in a programming note to pass along. michigan governor rick snyder will talk with andrea mitchell this afternoon right here on msnbc 1:00 p.m. joining me now, the tuesday political power panel assembled, assistant managing editor of "time" magazine and ron reagan and republican strategist john. we watch this, we have seen what the president has given in his basic last stand against what's taking place right now. the president is going out there saying this is not about economics. this is more about politics. >> well, i think it's about both, to be honest. if you look at the labor chair of the spy in this country, it has been shrinking for decades. and, you know, in some ways to the extent that unions are viewed as contentious, problematic organizations, we've got the unions we deserve. if when you work with them in other countries like germany, you get more cooperative unions. so i do think that the
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destruction of unions in this country has been one of the main reasons that the labor share of the pie has been shrinking. that's problematic to me. >> john, from the right, can you explain why it looks like to the casual observer here that organized labor is getting kneecaped in michigan? >> i think the problem is neither side understands himself. big business and small business is facing barrier after barrier. losing manufacturing jobs to everywhere. at the same time, i think republicans haven't done a good enough job to understand the lives of hardworking americans and how their life is tough and their take home pay is tougher. both sides really just don't understand each other and they have to come together or we're going to lose more jobs. >> perception being reality and both sides not understanding each other. what is the reality that comes from the perception of seeing almost 10,000 people on the steps there in michigan and knowing the governor is trying to push this through on a lame-duck session when there are more liberal voices coming in next year and this is just going to, you know, as i said, you
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know, got this e-mail, this is going to be the thunder dome in michigan, in the state house there over next two years. >> yeah, if this is so good for michigan and the working people of michigan, why wouldn't the governor want this to be on a referendum? wouldn't it be plain to the people of michigan that this was a good move? wouldn't they be happy to vote for this? the governor doesn't think so. this is a profoundly undemocratic move. and as you heard before, this is about labor versus management, corporate profits are up, wages have been stagnating or. dropping for a long time. this is just another nail in that coffin. >> yeah, this goes to drive down benefits, drive down the wages for these workers there. i'm going to ask all of you to stick around for me. we're going to stalk about this a little bit more. making progress on the fiscal cliff in washington, d.c. with the clock ticking away just days left for congress to reach a deal. are we any closer? plus, a staple in hundreds of thousands of african-american homes for decades. "jet" magazine not afraid to
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make history and doing it again with a ground breaking announcement. supreme court justice scalia raising eyebrows with a comment he made about murdered and homosexuality. if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality can we have it against murder, can we have it against other things? our big question for you is should a supreme court justice equate the morality of human sexuality with murder? tweet me at thomasaroberts or find me on facebook. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and... social security are just numbers in a budget. well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible... solutions that strengthen medicare and... social security for generations to come. we can do better than a last minute deal... that would hurt all of us.
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this just in. house speaker john boehner expected to take the floor at noneastern time to talk about where negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff stand. for the first time in a while the president has no public events today. on his agenda he has spent the last few weeks as you know on
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this relentless pr campaign to talk about it. and his lack of a tuesday to do list adds punch to reports like this one in the "wall street journal" with the headline talks take positive turn. >> john boehner, sitting down with the president, seems these two men are getting the job done, from what we hear. >> it is the serious business because they've got to come to a framework at the end of this week if they're going to get it written in time and passed in time so they all don't have to spend christmas in washington. >> that's right,er. wants to get out of town for the holidays. we are book now with our political power panel. msnbc contributor ron reagan and republican strategist. this is where things stand. last night the president's team called boehner, asked for more details on taxes. boehner's office says that they want more details on spending cuts. so here's what senator bob corker had to say on the deal. >> i agree that we can get to a grand bargain but it has to be one, in my case, where you've actually made the decisions.
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i'm not going to do another process bill. i'm sorry. there's an old adage here in the senate, there's nothing to be learned from the second kick in the shin. >> and you can put that on a christmas card. so which sides benefits most from this you go first type of game? >> you know, it's a great question. i do think that we're going to come away with tax hikes for the rich. that's been one of hits key goals, huge issue in the campaign. i think that has to happen. i expect it to happen. that will be a good thing. what i'm hoping is that doesn't mean that republicans will harden around raising the debt ceiling a couple of months from now because that becomes then this continuing game of chicken and that's really what we don't want to see in terms of getting the economy back on track. >> that is the potential next stance. carl rove karl rove is going to stay in this game. he's got five different radio ads, each putting pressure on specific senators in those states to reach what cross rows calls a balanced solution to the
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nation's debt. this one is airing in north carolina. take a listen. >> balanced, comprehensive and good for our economy, not like president obama's one sided plan. both parties helped create the mess in washington. both parties should work together to clean it up. >> both parties created the mess, both sides should clean it up. is this the more conservatives among the gop getting ready to put the blame on democrats if the deal doesn't get done? >> well, yes, that would be one way to put it. i'm interested that karl rove says that the republicans seem to have a balanced plan. actually president obama is putting -- has been putting forward a balanced plan, spending and revenue increases for a long time. he's also done something very smart, which is put the republican tons defensive, unlike the beginning in the first term with the health care bill where he did not go around the country continuing to sell the idea as negotiations were going on.
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this time he has been doing that and he has put the republicans in a terrible spot. she's basically said, look, here are my revenue proposals. that's what i was all about. you guys were all about spending. tell me what you want to cut. go ahead. and they've, of course, had a little trouble with that. >> right. go ahead, make my day. john, "the washington post" today is reporting that investors are preparing to go off the cliff, shifting around assets. wealthy survival skills 101, so to speak. ceo says there must be a deal now. are republicans feeling this pressure from the super rich in the country? >> there's a real problem in that there's a real fear that what the republicans are going to do is look at the election results and basically roll over. if that happens you're going to use this outcry and plus you have an awful lot of wealthy small businesspeople that would invest in businesses now moving those assets, it looks like. i think both sides have an addiction to spending in washington and they have to be
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adults at the room. and something has to happen now or you're going to see this economy go down, not up. >> our power panel for today, my thanks to all three of you and thanks for sticking around for a breaking news as well at the top of the hour here. while the fiscal crisis simmers in washington, gop launching a new initiative of post-mortem of sorts looking at what went wrong in the november elections and what's ahead for the future of its party. joining me now is glen mccall, national committeeman for the rnc and one of the republicans spearheading this new initiative. sir, it's great to have you here. one of five republicans leading this initiative along with former governor barbour is another. i want to play what he had to say today on "morning joe." >> i hear all this mandate talk but the president got less than 51% of the vote. and he won because he made mitt romney unacceptable. he didn't run on his record. >> barbour seems to be blaming
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the president for what ailed mitt romney and the gop. could this review turn back into the blame game of sorts and they the democrats made us look bad? >> thomas, thanks a lot for having me. and, no, we're not about a graham game, we're about assessing the republican party and all of our entities. what we did right and what we did to improve on. of course, we have some issues that we have to look at. so it's not about a blame game. it's about a number of areas that we need to get better at. >> when the review as i understand it is going to take a look at eight key areas, just some of those, the ground game, the messaging, demographics, lessoned learned from the democratic campaign tactics, "the washington post" jean robinson writes that the problem with the gop is an uninspiring candidates or unsound tactics, it is unpopular ideas. so if we do look at just some of the things that took place over
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this campaign which would be the war on women or the tax issue or even when it comes down to issues of marriage or quality, is the republican party willing to look at however the grades come back on their paper and be able to deal with the hard core realities that maybe the american public just isn't buying what they're selling. >> i think the american public do agree. exit polls proved that out. 35% say that they're liberal and less than that say that they're conservative and less than that say that they're liberal. so i think that we do have a message that's appealing. i think it's all about, as you said, as you went through some of the key issues, it's ability communicating those messages and, also, appealing to people at where they are. and that's what we have to do. so any policy that's left up to those in washington, that's left up to those at the state level. we're focused on reviewing what we did wrong, what we can improve upon and winning
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elections and putting together hopefully two- to four-year plan. that's the goal. >> sir, i want to talk about what's going on in your home state of south carolina and as we've been talking about over the last several days, senator demint leaving and a press conference today saying she's not going to put in place a placeholder in the spot left by the senator. who would you like to see in jim demint's spot, another tea party conservative like the senator or go in a different direction? >> well, you know, the governor and i'll support her decision and the governor stated that she would like another conservative somewhat in the mold of senator demint and we really appreciate him standing sdrong strong for our conservative values and representing south carolina in a very honorable way. so we're going to leave that to the governor and whoever it is, we're going to be excited and i'm sure they are going to get there and help our senior citizen advance those things
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that are important to south carolinians but also for our nation. >> glen, as a south carolinian, what does your gut tell you? do you have an inside track on where this is going? what is your gut say? >> yeah, no, i don't. i mean, like you and others, i read the blogs and newspapers and, of course, congressman scott is, you know, one that's talked about here where i live in the fifth district, congressman mull vein any is a great conservative and he has said if asked he would serve. so we have a strong bench of great folks here within the state. in office and those that are currently not serving in office. >> i had a chance to speak with him over the weekend and i asked him if he would want to take up the mantel left behind of senator demint as a tea party king maker. he didn't seem too interested in that. do you think that is something that is very in the chemistry figuring out who replaces
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demint? >> no, and i haven't spoken with congressman malaney, only from what i've heard in the local paper and saying and he's a honorable man, also, saying if he's asked he will serve. i know that he definitely had his eyes on the senate sick once senator demint if he had stayed in and stepped down, not ran for re-election in 2016. so again, we have great, great folks can fill that seat and i support the governor. >> we only have 37 minutes to go until we find out definitive answers here. rnc committeeman from south carolina. appreciate your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. we are keeping a close eye on that breaking news out of lansing, michigan, more than 12,000 union members gathering to protest the governor's a abrupt new plan to limit unions despite freezing terchs and snow that is falling. the legislature begins debating
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the right to work law today. we're back with much more right after this. look, if you have copd like me, you know it can be hard to breathe, and how that feels. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd.
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campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. welcome back to msnbc. i want to take you live in lansing, michigan, pef within watching the developing story there, breaking news from this morning where union members are protesting the governor's new right to work law. gathering outside the lansing state house there, over 10,000 people are on-site. some of the protesters are truly getting emotional about what it means to them. >> i have the opportunity to introduce a me beyond the bridge, a member that gives every day, his name is duane but he's not just a union man, he's a father, he's a husband, he's
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an activist in this community, he's about what we're all about, giving to make this state better. >> the bottom line is this measure, the right to work measure, is expected to pass. and we will keep our eyes there on lansing, michigan. we have ron mott on the ground reporting from the scene. we'll let you know when we have more definitive answers there. keeping a close eye for you on the house floor where speaker john baner is expected to speak at noon about negotiations on so-called fiscal cliff. he's been with the president and the speaker on the bargaining table. some republicans are continuing to push back against president obama's red line. tax increases for the most wealthy. >> the game you're playing is small ball. you're talking about raising rates on the top 2% that would run the government for 11 days. you just got re-elected. how about doing something big that's not liberal. how about doing something big that really is about partisan. every big idea he has is a liberal idea that drowns us in
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debt. how about manning up here, mr. president. >> joining me is congressman chris van holland, a ranking member in the house committee. >> good to be with you. >> we're hearing there from lindsey graham his thoughts on fox news and this morning former governor haley barbour was on "morning joe" today and said he would support the higher taxes for the wealthy if -- >> as a republican, i would take raising the rates on the two top brackets if, in return, we had tax reform laid out over a period of months, if we had entitlement reform. i think if you have the whole package, i would hold my nose despite the facts that raising those two tax is bad economics. >> so he would hold his nose but go for it. how much are democrats in congress prepared to give in on entitlements to make these tax increases happen? >> well, first, thomas, senator
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graham just has his math wrong. if you look at bipartisan proposals to reduce the deficit over the next ten years like simpson bowls, they had a lot more revenue embedded in them than the amount of revenue the president is talking about and the revenue is a substantial part of trying to get a balanced approach. so to suggest that the revenue is a trivial component here is simply nonsense. with respect to the spending side of the equation the president has been really clear and actually he's laid it out in a lot of detail in his budget plan on how he would achieve additional savings including in medicare. the big difference, thomas, is that when the president achieves savings he does it by reducing the costs in medicare overall, not simply transferring and passing the buck and the risk of rising health care costs on to the backs of seniors. fundamentally different approach. >> congressman, why do you think this isn't translating to the right because senator mitch mcconnell spoke the last hour and basically accusing the
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democrats of being vague on spending cuts. take a listen. >> it raises the question, do democrats even believe their own rhetoric on spending? contrary to the clear wishes of majority of americans do they just want more tax revenue to fund a government without any limits, any limits whatsoever? >> sir, how do you respond to that? >> thomas, senator mcconnell should check the ryan republican budget, the budget that senator mcconnell brought up on the floor of the senate last year. and if you look over the coming ten-year period, the president's budget actually has more medicare savings than the ryan republican budget over the period of time that we're talking about, ten years. the president just does it in a very different way. again, he doesn't want to simply pass the costs on the backs of seniors whose median income is under $22,000. he does it by, for example, asking pharmaceutical companies to pay more in the way of rebates for prescription drugs in the program. and a number of other ways.
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so it's not that the president doesn't have cuts. it's just that the republicans don't like the way the president has gone about achieving the savings. again, they want to pass that cost and risk on to the backs of seniors in the case of medicare. >> congressman chris van holland, thanks for having you today. we go now from our own problems with the fiscal cliff in this country to syria being on the brink. secretary of defense leon panetta who is in kuwait today meeting with officials and visiting troops has this to say about syria's escalating crisis. >> continue to make clear to them that they should not, under any means, make use of these chemical weapons against their own population, that that would -- that would producer is use consequences. >> joining me now in studio is retired u.s. army general. it's great to see you and in person, no less. but just so everybody can make that out because i know it was hard for people to hear the
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secretary there saying we continue to make clear to them they should not under any means make use of these chemical weapons against their own population, that would producer is use consequences. when he's talking about serious consequences what does that mean to the u.s., the stake, the investment we would make militarily. >> i'm sure one thing we're convinced of is that we don't want to take military action to syria. it's a bad idea to commit either naval air power or u.s. air force air power. the targets are fleetding, illusive, and trying to find chemical weapons and incinerate them from the air. so this has principally deterrent value. the government is going under. there's a danger of a massive bloodbath. we're not particularly well suited to pick winners or losers. so i think our ability to influence this situation is pretty minimal. >> when it comes to the fact that we have leon panetta talking about consequences, the president talking about consequences, secretary of state hillary clinton, you know, referencing what's going on in
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the region and specifically what we've seen developing in syria now. for months on end diplomacy is not going to work. when do we get into the public business of arming the rebels? >> well, i think we already are. i think the -- the surrogates have been -- the gcc states, saudi arabia, turkey, are all heavily involved. we publicly acknowledged doing communications and humanitarian support. but i think this is now at its cataclysmic point. there's no question assad is going under, call it a year or 90 days. he's getting desperate. >> is this hang on by the fingernails approach here? >> he can't trust his own army. at some point the gun carriers are going to be sunni muslims. this is turning into an ethnic/religious struggle. at the end of the day the question will be will they employ these devastating weapons like saran nerve agent against a civil population as he goes
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under? it's possible. >> thank you so much for being here. i appreciate it. we are also watching the developments in egypt for you today as protests there continue in opposition of the country's scheduled december 15th referendum. adding fuel to the fire today, according to nbc reporting from there, egypt's largest judiciary club voted against super buys in the constitutional referendum. now, the vote will still occur but its integrity could be called into ultimate question. we finally know why nelson mandela has been in the hospital since saturday. he's suffering from a recurring lung infection. nbc is live in johannesburg. any word on the condition currently of nelson mandela? >> thomas, what we've been told is that he was in the hospital for routine tests. little more detail than that. we've been told simply that these were the sort of tests that you might expect any man at his age to have and that there was no need for any real concern. but today the first concrete
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medical bulletin from the doctors said that he's suffering from a lung infection, a recurrence of the same infection that caused his admission to hospital around two years ago. now, recently he had been in pretty good health. he's 94 years old and incredibly frail. while he was on robin island he suffered an ill. but watching incredibly closely around the world. he's perhaps the most revered manual around the world and here in south africa where he emerged from 27 years in captivity to become the first black president, the first democratically elected president, so his condition being watched closely and a great deal of anxiety here in south africa, thomas. >> keep us posted. live for us from johannesburg, south africa. up next, the magazine that can be found in hundreds of thousands of african-american homes makes history. we're going to talk to the couple who made history in the move to change hearts and minds.
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let me take the pro-gay marriage people and the religious people. i believe there happens to be a connecting dot there that nobody is looking at, and that is the constitution. the question is not whether gay people should be married or not. the question is why is the government involved in our marriage? >> radio talk show host glenn beck joining the growing number of conservative commentators saying the gop needs to back off the opposition of marriage equality. it stance is an evolution earlier this year when he said he had, quote, the same opinion on gay marriage as president obama and he did not see such unions as a stlthreat to americ. "jet" magazine, for the first time in publication's 61-year history not only is a male couple bracing the pages they're appearing in a very popular and
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high profile section, the wedding announcement section. robbie perry and paris prince tied the knot in a backyard ceremony. their announcement appears in the magazine's latest issue. the newlyweds join me now from mass. congrats on the wedding. jet has prince of the union's of people for decades now. we need to point out though that two female couples have also appeared in the pages before but you're the first male couple to do so and the president has praised this move but, paris, i want to ask you, how does it feel for you to make history like this and for gay men in the african-american community? >> well, it's an exhilarating experience, thomas. i understand that we are a part of a movement, as you mentioned, a large evolution not just for "jet" but also for the arts and minds of americans across this country as we know president obama has evolved an now we can add "jet" magazine to that. the pace of that change is
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occurring very quickly. things that i thought wouldn't even be possible when i was a teenager, in fact, i think darwin would be amazed at the evolution that's occurring right now. >> you know, charles of the "washington post" recently wrote this op-ed piece. he says, while gay parnlg may will routine in massachusetts which is where you were both married, which is one of the nine states along with d.c. to have moved forward and legalized marriage equality, there are still 38 other states where this isn't allowed. and that it's all but unthinkable in places like oklahoma that he featured, yet your honeymoon trip was a seven-day road trip in the south. ravi, explain what influenced your choice for that type of honeymoon. >> well, i work at mississippi state university, and we decided to take a road trip down to visit mississippi and it was a beautiful experience. we loved it. and we had a lot of fun. and we met a lot of cool new friends along the way. >> a road trip, you know, we know you probably weren't asking
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for directions very much as men are very bad at doing that. but i do want to get you all on the record, both of you, about this very serious matter from princeton university on monday, supreme court justice scalia anded some legal writings when he was questioned by a gay student on campus there about his own feelings about marriage equality. scalia said if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? can we have it against other things? ravi, i'll start with you on this. the court is taking up two cases on marriage equality next year including the defensive marriage act. do you have any concerns now that this is in the hands of the high court and a statement like that, that scalia would make on the heels of know that they've taken up these two cases? >> well, absolutely, there are concerns. to compare a homosexuality to murder is incon shunable. the supreme court has had a history of equality cases before
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its docket and they've someti s sometimesered on the side of caution and has embarrassed the country in dred scott in 1957, in pace, alabama, in 1883 and ferguson in 1886. they have also done the right thing with browned v. board in '54, loving v. virginia in '67. so we're hopeful that they will do the right thing again with the marriage equality cases that they have taken up with doma and prop 8 but also with affirmative action and voting rights act this year. they have an opportunity to really redeem the republican party from their shellacking that they suffered in november as a result of the loss of president obama. if the republican appointed justices err on the side of equality and equality before the law, equality under the law, something decided long ago when we rats fid the 13th amendment to the constitution 147 years ago, then we will be well on our
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way to having a society that we can debate ideas and no longer debating basic fairness. >> paris, quickly, do you feel an extra sense of burden to the fact that as role models now, to young african-american men, that you have to help break stereotypes of masculinity within the african-american community where many men feel like they have to be on the down low? >> yes. i mean, ravi and i are two men who will not be intimidated into the closet the closet, and we are but one of a few in a long line of pioneers, i would say, who paved the way for us. people like bayard ruston or harvey milk who are part of a movement that have toiled in isolation, and their legacy is why we have -- we no longer have our rights denied, at least in massachusetts currently. it's the kind of social change that i learned about at clark university as an mba social
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change student. >> gentlemen, thanks so much for joining me today, and congratulations to both of you. dr. robbie perry and paris prince. >> thank you. >> we really appreciate your time. we're going to be right back with much more after this. tion? it's filled with all the new dolls that just arrived. ♪ it's a barbie wonderland! [ allen ] honey? here, ken. allen. ♪ [ gasps ] it's a barbie wonderland... hey, who's ken? [ male announcer ] get more barbie than ever before this holiday season. like the fashion design plates, color stylin' hair, and spa to fab barbie dolls that just arrived. all backed by our low price guarantee. from america's gift headquarters. walmart.
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president obama's push for immigration reform is getting help from a desperate housewife. eva longoria is one of the mega donors that is helping to rally. the l.a. times reporting the president wants a catch-all bill that would also bolster security measures and rachet up penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and make it ease wrer to bring in farm workers on a special visa. luis gutierrez of illinois, sir, it's great to have you here and a number of other power players, influential people, working behind the scenes on this deal. just this week in colorado democratic senator michael bennett introduced a model that he hopes will be a bigger model for the country. senators kay bailey hutchison
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and john kyle have one called the achieve act. the congressional hispanic caucus is certainly making moves. when does everyone join forces and come up with a real type of deal forward? >> thomas, that's happening. the good thing is that there's a general framework, right? they want everybody in the system, and they want to mind the books. they want to make sure that employers and immigrants have to abide by the same set of rules that the rest of us do. it's interesting to see as the polling comes forward that americans say, look, if you are going to legalize 12 million people, make them citizens of the united states. they consider that the non-amnesty route because it says to them, you know, not only are you going to have all of the rights, but you are going to have all of the responsibilities, and we want to make sure that you're not just kind of halfway in, that you are all in on the system. so i think that's the good part. thomas, very, very unique to the
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conversation we're having now -- >> right. >> -- gone are the moments in which people said self-deportation. >> correct. >> nobody is talking about sv 1070 in arizona. they are saying we want to find ways, republicans and democrats, to integrate them fully. >> how do we do that, though, with natural-born american citizens getting on board with this and feeling vested in this issue for others? >> sure. because american citizens, you and i, want to make sure that the new players in our economy, when they are fully incorporated, have all of the responsibilities. that they pay taxes, learn english, that they're incorporated. we don't want them over on the side getting a work permit and that's it. we want them integrated fully, and that's happening. here's what the latest polling has shown us. that as you eliminate citizenship, actually, the support of those of us born in the united states actually arose because they see this as very important to them, and so whether it's senator menendez or
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rubio, whether it's me and others in the house of representatives, look, we're working to bring this about. gone are the days of self-deportation. we understand that 12 million people and we're trying to incorporate them fully. >> democratic congressman luis gutierrez, thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you tomorrow. now comes up next "now" from our nation's capitol.
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MSNBC December 11, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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